DemoCar electric quad bike
Most small boys love playing with toy cars. And now the big boys from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Ostrava’s Technical University have built a life-sized remote-control quad bike – with an electric motor, of course.
Quad bikes are used for fun or as simple means of transport, but they can also be put to work – they can tow trailers or be fitted with winches or ploughs. One of the development team, doctoral student Samuel Przeczek, summarizes the aims of the project:
Our quad bike is designed for testing, demonstration and as a study tool for research into new solutions and technologies in the field of automotive electronics.
The DemoCar project involves a team of talented Master’s students and doctoral students specializing in automotive electronics. Project coordinator Petr Šimoník gives more details of their work:
The quad bike has four-wheel drive, with each wheel independently driven. It is remote-controlled using a 16-channel transmitter. We can thus remotely operate the drive system, brakes, power steering, lights and the central control system. The vehicle has a sophisticated energy management system. Selected data can be monitored visually on the remote control display thanks to sensors which transmit the data to the unit. In 2018 we plan to begin integrating the autonomous driving system into the bike, working alongside new colleagues from the Department of Computer Science who specialize in image processing and 3D object identification.
The life-size quad bike is regularly updated in terms of functionality and design, so it is constantly evolving to reflect innovative new developments. The hard work of the research team in the fields of applied electronics and mechatronics is thus creating a vehicle that is frequently seen at demonstration events at the University and elsewhere. The project is also generating a large quantity of teaching aids – calculations, visualizations, computer simulations, specific structural solutions, and new mechatronic systems. Students can test their hypotheses using the vehicle, and write up their results as undergraduate theses, Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. The DemoCar project provides valuable new knowledge and data to researchers and industrial partners – and guarantees that a new generation of children will be able to enjoy a new generation of vehicles.